Obama vs. Ol' Dobby

Now you may not look at the news but this one one is fresh off today's, "Obama Dismisses Dobson" coming after yesterday's, "Dobson Blasts Obama on Bible." As you can see, a little dispute is brewing.

Now a caveat, I'm not an Obama groupie. Don't think he's going to change the world, or even America for that matter. I think he's a better choice than Bush. I don't think he's a miracle worker.

Another caveat, I'm not a Dobson fan. I think his organization does some good things and I think he's a headline grabber. I don't like his political stances and I think he misrepresents Christianity. He ashames me for the most part.

It's always better to let people know where you're coming from, the good ol' post-modern way. Situate, situate, situate.

Now to simplify this little dispute. Obama thinks the Bible's not really that applicable to governing a country. To support this he quotes Leviticus where slavery seems to be okayed and shellfish are an abomination. Obama also claims sections such as the Sermon on the Mount are too radical for governing a country.

Ol' Dobby refutes this claim and says Obama is misquoting the Bible to support his own twisted theology.

Here's where I put my foot down, whip out my most imposing lecture face and start swinging around my right pointer finger...

Obama's right. America is not a Christian nation and has a set of laws to govern it, not the Bible. He's right, slavery in not okay in America. And most importantly, he's right when he says the Sermon on the Mount is too radical for governing a country!

All Christ-imitators should be saying in unison, "My goal is not to change or rule a nation". Say it with me!

The Bible clearly states that our goal is to love Christ and then love our neighbor, the two most important commands. No governing of society. Christ's radical demands on Christian life just don't jive with civil rule. Government serves the "will of the people". The Bible is about the "will of God". They don't mix and, as the Bible clearly states, "You can't serve two masters."

So this is where Ol' Dobby gets in trouble. He rather likes the mixture of government and God, civil rule and Christianity. He likes getting his hands dirty and mixing it up politically, whether it's gay teletubbies, John McCain or Ted Haggard. He think his job is to "Christianize" America.

This is where I run fast and far away. My job as a Christian is not to change society... it's to have Christ change me and change individuals through me. We've seen how Christian societies turned out (Google "Munster" and "reformation" together and see what I mean, or try "Calvin" and "Geneva"). In fact, after the debacles of Munster we had guys like the Mennonites saying we need to remove ourselves completely from society, we're just too radical for governing!

So, as official scorekeeper for Dobby vs. Obama: Biblical Interpretion I score the Democrat 1, the confused Republican 0.


Africa Reads

I've been reading alot of books about Africa lately, I think on last count about 12 in the past 3 months or so. I know not everyone has my great fascination with the Dark Continent but here are a few reads I highly reccomend for those with an interest in Africa or in a good read.

First, Dervla Murphy's "In Ethiopia With a Mule". Imagine a single woman heading off into the wild Ethiopian highlands by herself, sans map... in the 1960's. Then imagine bandits, leopards, and mules falling off cliffs. That's this books. She's blunt and fearless and treks more than a 1000 miles, living with the fleas, the Ethiopians and the hyenas. Super fascinating book by a famous travel writer.

Ok, so the 750 pages might seem a little intimidating at first but they fly by. "The Fate of Africa" is African history since independence that focuses on many of the big personalities, weaving all the connections and bringing the headlines to life. If you want to know recent African history, this is the book. His writing style gives the history life and you often forget you're reading history.
If there was one man I might want to emulate on the international aid scene it would be Stephen Lewis. He's a tireless advocate for human right, women's right and African rights. And he's Canadian. He was most recently the UN envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa and has tons of first hand experience. He knows AIDS in Africa. In "Race Against Time" he speaks out against the inaction and failings of the UN, the IMF and the Bank. He's honest and yet hopeful that these organizations can rectify their failures the fulfill their potential.
A couple more: Alexandra Fuller's "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight". One girl growing up in the unique world of Rhodesia.
Stephanie Nolen's "28: Stories of AIDS in Africa". A Canadian journalist gives stories and faces to the many crises that AIDS is causing in Africa.
Romeo Dallaire's "Shake Hands With the Devil". Ok, this one's been out there a while but I am constantly amazed at what he's gone through and his tireless advocacy for peace in Africa. And he's Canadian.
So, if that light summer reading just isn't your thing (I know it's not mine), grab one of these books and become edumacated. Ya HEARD.


Summer of BBQ

I declare the summer of 2008 the Summer of BBQ! The last couple of summer we haven't been around to take advantage of long sunny evenings, a deck and a BBQ so now... we're going to! We've got a great big deck, a BBQ, and lots of recipes to try.
I planked again, this time for my mom.
Tried two different salmon recipes: Terriyaki Pineapple and Sun dried Tomato. Both were yummy but all agreed the Sun-Dried Tomato was to die for... seriously yummy. I've been out BBQ'ing this week, rain or shine (mostly rain) - steaks, chicken, pork. I'm thinking meat and veggies is a solid diet. Normally that wouldn't fly with my Sweetie, but thanks to the bump in her tummy she's realized the importance of things like protein and iron! So fire up the BBQ, stock the fridge - we're having a BBQ. Once we move in proper, it'll be time to have guests over to share our deck abundance. Nothing beats a warm evening, a steak with a mug of Blackbery Porter, cool tunes and good friends to share it with.
As for everything else... I am half done my crazy days of classes, just 3 more weeks of mayhem. I've been putting in 10-12 hour days at school just to make sure everything gets done. Taking 4 semester long classes in 7 weeks isn't as easy as I remember it to be...
The little one in the tummy is growing. Had our first ultrasound last week, saw him/her just lounging around. Even got the ol' thumbs up. Pretty cool. And the last 2 night I got to feel the baby kicking for the first times, way cool! Guess this whole baby thing is for real.
Otherwise, life is moving on. Kinda weird to be in the grind and yet still feeling in limbo until we properly move and unpack everything. Be good to get everything out and feel properly settled... though there's no complaints about the current roof over our heads from this end!
For those of you who are still hoping to see us... it's all gonna settle down soon. I promise!
And a parting shot. Me and the little hoodlum.